Friday, December 16, 2016

Wheel of Fortune.... How does it turn?

The goal of this blog is to not leave the Friday night table talk to chance.... Please share.
In memory of Moshe Simcha Moskowitz and wishing a speedy recovery to Tamar Adina bas Kayna Shulamis.

Dreidel RouletteA horrific accident this week.

A mother and her son drop older sister off at the airport, going to Israel to study. What a happy goodbye!

On the way back, in front of her is a disabled vehicle on the highway - she slows down, but the semi behind her does not slow down and rams her into the stalled vehicle.

How long it took first responders to arrive, who knows and who wants to know. Both mother and son were airlifted to separate hospitals in DC.

The mother is presently in ICU, fighting for her life.

The son - a 13-year-old in our son's school - did not make it.

The funeral was yesterday.

It looked like the entire Jewish community was there. Not only were all 600 seats filled in the huge sanctuary, so was every foot of the standing room, so was the overflow room, spilling out into the hallways and the foyer.

First question for your table: Was it because the parents are well known and loved?

But speaker after speaker told of how special this boy was. His name was Moshe Simcha - and he was always happy (simcha means happiness). He wasn't an extroverted, joking kid. He was mild-mannered, soft-spoken, but extremely friendly and even more than friendly, he was helpful.

His seventh-grade teacher said, "You know those days when you come in to school and you really need a coffee but you don't have time because you have to go copy your handout? Moshe would make sure you had a coffee on your desk and the copies made before you even had a chance to ask him for help."

His father said, "At home, he was always asking, 'What can I do to help?'"

It seems that he had perfected the
mitzvah of honoring your parents.
Other kids loved him, because he was super nice to everyone, of all ages.

Our son called him "really nice". (That is a very rare compliment.)

He was a fighter - he didn't let diabetes stop him from training for and completing a 120-mile bike-a-thon to raise money to help disabled kids go to camp.

He was a learner - he recently asked his father if they could spend five minutes a day learning together the laws of lashon hara. Why? "Because it's really important and I don't think I know it well enough."

His father, a beloved first-grade teacher, said, "Moshe taught us all something. He was a teacher - a rebbe - to all of us."

Even those of us who never met him.

(Even those of us who merely read about him in an email?)

His family ask:

• In his memory, that we aspire to emulate him;
• As a collective "prayer" for his mother, that we light Shabbat candles five minutes early today.

Hence I share the story with you, and ask you to
forward it to everyone you love.

Second question for your table: What's a greater tragedy - a meaningful life cut short at 13, or a long, healthy life without meaning or mission?

Shabbat Shalom

PS - After 2,500 years, there is finally a new way to play dreidel. Click on the image above.

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Liz said...

Have you heard any updates about Tammy, Moshe's mom? I can't find anyone who has posted about how she is doing. All I have been able to think about is how the family handled the chaos of the shiva calls while undoubtedly wanting to be at her bedside in the hospital. It must be just brutal.

I think Moshe's funeral was SRO not because his parents are well known...but because he was inspiring. 180 miles is no ride around the block. It took months of dedicated training but Moshe did it, at a time when most teenagers are so focused on self as to be nearly myopic.

He was a good kid. It's not fair.

Abra Castle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Abra Castle said...

Devastating and tragic. May his memory be a blessing.
Thank you for sharing Rabbi.